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COVID-19 in rheumatology outpatient clinics: Dutch mirror image to Lombardy, Italy
  1. Sophie Benoy1,
  2. Rene Traksel1,
  3. Peter Verhaegh2,
  4. Jasper Broen1
  1. 1 Regional Rheumatology Center, Maxima Medical Centre Location Veldhoven, Veldhoven and Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
  2. 2 Information Technology, Maxima Medical Centre, Eindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jasper Broen, Rheumatology, Maxima Medical Centre, Eindhoven 5631, Netherlands; j.broen{at}

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In response to the article published by Monti et al 1 regarding the clinical course of COVID-19 in a series of patients with chronic arthritis treated with immunosuppressive targeted therapies, we started to collect similar data from our patients with chronic rheumatic disease as well, to be able to aid in providing preliminary data on how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) impacts our patients with immunosuppressive therapies. The first officially reported case in the Netherlands originates from 27 February in the province of North Brabant.2 A few weeks later, after community screening and case identification, it came apparent that the virus had to be present in the community already 2 weeks before the first official case was described. Two and a half million people inhabit North Brabant. In this province, Carnival was celebrated between 21 and 26 February. Carnival is a public celebration in regions of Catholic descent, involving parades and street parties in which at least 200 000 people participate in various cities and villages. It is thought that these public celebrations allowed SARS-CoV-2 to rapidly spread in communities, making North Brabant, together with Limburg (an adjacent province), the regions with the highest number of infections in the Netherlands. Our hospital …

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  • Contributors JB, RT and SB were involved in writing the article and in the data analyses. PV was involved in the data analyses.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.